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Open wifi now illegal in Germany.

by Mike
Posted May 12th, 2010 at 8:40 pm
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Want to hear something stupid? Alrighty then — in Germany, private citizens will soon be able to be fined for open WiFi networks to the tune of 100 euros ($126 USD). No password, no money. Pretty straight forward. If you look at it at face value, it seems like the government protecting citizens from themselves (and their technological incompetence). But in reality it’s just the government sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

There are various environments and network setups that actually benefit and/or require open networks. So to say this ruling is troubling is an understatement. How this affects businesses remains to be seen as the ruling had more to do with the little guy (read: you and I). If the ruling does or will be extended to larger corporations and businesses, the effect on could be devastating depending on how their networks are set up.

One other thing we have to ask ourselves is, “Where exactly does it stop”? I mean, if third parties can now be held accountable for another person’s actions — in this case the network owner being held responsible for the network users’ actions — what’s to stop the courts from then pushing further and fining network owners for too weak of a password, or one that uses to manny “@” symbols? It’s a very disappointing outcome for the human race as a whole and a striking blow to common sense.

Of course, the whole issue of holding the network owner responsible for the actions of end users is the dumbest “revolution” that’s sadly becoming increasingly common in the digital age. Then again, politicians and “technologically intelligent” are two things that never mix.

TechDirt > MSNBC


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